NCAA Power Rankings: Marquette and Michigan Arrive

Now with a few weeks of games under our belts, we are unveiling the new InLax NCAA Power Rankings for Men’s Division 1. Full disclosure: I have been doing my own personal poll, including preseason, but not publishing it. In that time I have noticed something that during Sunday’s telecast of the Syracuse vs. Virginia game, Eamon McAnaney emphasized so well. The top 10 is pretty easy, the 10-20 are nearly impossible.

In that spirit, I came up with an equation that considers and weighs the following:
-Games vs. Ranked Opponents
-Wins vs. Ranked Opponents
-Losses vs. Ranked Opponents
-Wins vs. Unranked Opponents
-Losses vs. unranked Opponents
-Points For to Points Against Ratio

For these purposes, ranked means currently ranked teams based on the most recent media poll.

Putting all these together gave a final value which I’ll call the InLax Score. When I ranked teams based on their score, the results were actually pretty close to what I would have put just by my own personal rankings. I’m not following this result 100%, but rather using it as a guide. The best examples of this are Notre Dame and Denver who are ranked eighth and ninth by score, but are definitely not the eighth or ninth best teams in the country. What pulls Notre Dame down is they have only three games, no ranked teams yet and they only beat one of them by two. This will work itself out over time as the number of games will only create more reliable numbers. Since number of games does matter, the fact that some teams only have two games while others have 6, this will change over time. If you have any questions or thoughts on this, feel free to let us know!

Records and score are including games from March 1st.

1 Syracuse Record: 4-0 InLax Score: 92
Syracuse has made top 10 teams look average and has shown few weeks spots this year. That isn’t to say they don’t have bad games in them, but they haven’t happened yet.

2 North Carolina Record: 5-0 InLax Score: 88.4
North Carolina showed just how complete of a team they are in beating Denver this past weekend. If they can make their goalie rotation continue to work for them, this will be a dangerous team all year long. Not a single loose ball went uncontested.

3 Notre Dame Record: 3-0 InLax Score: 42.84
Notre Dame has had the softest schedule out of all the top teams so far this year. That changes when they face Denver this week. While it isn’t on TV, circle this on your calendar for streaming online.

4 Denver Record: 3-1 InLax Score: 41.22
I would like to blame the travel east for their drop off, but they just beat Duke a few weeks ago in Georgia. They were just outplayed by North Carolina this week. Non-conference wins are key for this team for NCAA tournament seeding as the Big East does not offer a full slate of heavy competition. Beating Notre Dame would do wonders for them in May as they hope to host a first round game again. I shouldn’t be talking about NCAA tournament impact in the first week of March, but in this case, you need to.

5 Duke Record: 5-1 InLax Score: 63.97
Duke has only suffered a loss to Denver and just dominated a good Harvard squad. Known for building throughout the season, the Blue Devils need to be hitting on all cylinders as ACC play approaches, and they are starting to look like they are.

6 Army Record: 4-1 InLax Score: 79
Army got back to their roots after losing a close game to Syracuse by smothering Lafayette 14-3. This team is rode a very tough defense for most of last year, but now possess an offense that is helping them own the highest scoring margin in the NCAA.

7 Yale Record: 3-0 InLax Score: 63.95
Yale is looking very strong by topping two NCAA quarterfinalists teams from a year ago and beating UMASS-Lowell by 15. They are one of many Ivy teams that are going to make some noise this year.

8 Virginia Record: 3-1 InLax Score: 33.33
Virginia being such a young team showed against Syracuse. They never had much of a chance through the entire game, but are loaded with enough talent to turn things around. Starting their ACC record with a loss is not a good sign if they want to avoid missing the ACC tournament for a second straight year.

9 Maryland Record: 3-1 InLax Score: 49.33
Maryland only lost to Yale by four and beat Penn by the same margin. Their games over Navy and Drexel were both convincing. This team is still trying to come together and Charlie Raffa continues to be an oddity this year.

10 Princeton Record: 3-0 InLax Score: 38.32
Princeton came out on fire against Hopkins this weekend, but needed overtime to seal the win. This team isn’t even at full strength yet, which should worry everyone on their schedule.

11 Cornell Record: 3-1 InLax Score: 37.56
Cornell has played in the Carrier Dome, a sports bubble twice and an icy field in Dallas, TX. They win the award for oddest mix of arenas. Their season opening loss to Syracuse aside, they are looking more and more like the Big Red we expect to see coming out of Ithaca as they get more practice and playing time together.

12 Marquette Record: 5-0 InLax Score: 42.95
Four out of their five wins are by a goal. Not the most convincing record, but 5-0 is hard to argue with at this point. They need to keep their winning ways up as they end their season in a gauntlet with Duke, Denver and Notre Dame as three of their final four.

13 Colgate Record: 4-0 InLax Score: 37.03
Colgate has three two goal wins with the highlights being Bucknell and Bryant. They have a few winnable games coming up before the meat of their conference schedule and Cornell appear.

14 Towson Record: 3-1 InLax Score: 31.73
Towson balances their two goal win over Hopkins with a four goal loss to Loyola. We need to see a few more game from them to really see what type of team they are.

15 Brown Record: 2-0 InLax Score: 27.22
Brown has two very solid wins over teams they should have beaten. They look to be just another part of a very, very tough Ivy league this year.

16 Johns Hopkins Record: 2-3 InLax Score: 27.6
This is a very disappointing start for Hopkins. While all their losses are good losses (if there is such a thing), they really can’t afford more. They are playing a tough schedule as usual, but are falling victim to it at the moment.

17 Loyola Record: 3-2 InLax Score: 27.29
Their two losses are by a total of two goals. Wins over Towson, Penn State and Lehigh are good, but this team is not quite meeting their expectations yet.

18 Villanova Record: 3-1 InLax Score: 28.29
With good wins over Penn State, Delaware, and Drexel while only losing to Hopkins, Villanova may be primed for making a push in Big East Play. Upcoming games with Penn, Lehigh, and Maryland will paint a better picture.

19 Ohio State Record: 4-2 InLax Score: 37.5
I didn’t really want to include the Buckeyes here, as their resume is underwhelming. Hofstra is next up before games with Denver, Towson and Notre Dame. That stretch will make or break this team.

20 Michigan Record: 3-1 InLax Score: 30.92
They got beat up by Notre Dame, but had solid wins against everyone else. They’re here, but they may not be for long.

Next five in consideration: Stony Brook, Penn State, High Point, Albany, and Marist